|The Manila Cathedral|
The mother of all churches, The Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica (Manila Cathedral) inside the walls of Intramuros near the Palacio del Gobernador (now COMELEC office) and the reconstruction of the Ayuntamiento presents amazing architectural and historical heritage. First built in 1581 with nipa and bamboo, and as been repeatedly destroyed by calamities, fires and war and rebuilt until its present structure reconstructed from the ruins left by the Battle of Manila in 1945. It has been declared by the then Pope John Paul II in 1981 as Basilica Minore that gives indulgence to the religious who visits the church.
|The front entrance to the Basilica|
The Manila Cathedral is small relative to other famous Basilica in the country like the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia in Camarines Sur but the architecture is definitely much more magnificent. The facade features the elaborately decorated wooden doors with religious designs. The interior is much more grand with its Neo-Romanesque architecture similar to those in the European churches. The grandly decorated columns are its most beautiful aspect blending with the curved ceilings and stained glass windows.
|The interior of the Basilica|
Inside the church is a marble Pieta and a mini exhibit depicting the history of the church and showcasing the one of a kind replica of the painting of the Our Lady of the Philippines. Outside is a mini park with a grand fountain dedicated to King Carlos IV of Spain.
|Bronze statue of King Carlos IV in front of the Basilica|
Make your visit to the church on weekdays between 8.30am to 12pm and on weekend afternoons when there are no masses to fully enjoy the scenery unless you wanted to attend mass.
To summarize it all:
Total Satisfaction: Satisfactory
Things to Remember
2. Mass Schedule
Weekdays starts at 7:30 am and 12:10pm
Saturdays starts at 7:30 am
Sundays starts at 7:00, 8:30, 10:00, 11:30 am
*other masses and services are by appointment
4. Getting there
From the LRT, one may drop off at Grand Central Terminal and walk to Intramuros where there are pedicabs and calesas. Similarly by bus that pass along Lawton area one may get off in Lawton of somewhere near Manila City Hall and walk to Intramuros.
For further information you may visit the Manila Cathedral website http://www.manilacathedral.org/History/history.htm